The Mexican army captured a top security chief to the country’s most-wanted drug lord, delivering a major blow to the Pacific cartel.
Felipe Cabrera was detained at his hideout Dec. 23 in Sinaloa state, a stronghold of the Pacific Cartel run by his boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. He did not put up resistance, Ricardo Trevilla, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said today at an event in Mexico City.
In addition to providing security for Guzman, Cabrera allegedly controlled the drug cartel’s operation in Durango and southern Chihuahua states, said Trevilla. He had previously fled from Durango to evade detention and authorities seized weapons, computers and valuable documents during his capture, the spokesman said.
Guzman was ranked 1,140th in Forbes magazine’s 2011 list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion. He has eluded authorities since he escaped from prison in a laundry truck in 2001.
Approximately 43,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon began his offensive against drug trafficking organizations, according to an Oct. 4 Drug Enforcement Administration report.
“With this action by military personnel, the Pacific Cartel’s leadership structure and operational capacity have been impacted,” Trevilla said.